Tribune Publishing paid $23.5 million for Sun-Times’ suburban papers

SHARE Tribune Publishing paid $23.5 million for Sun-Times’ suburban papers

Tribune Publishing paid $23.5 million to buy six suburban daily and 32 weekly newspapers from the Chicago Sun-Times parent company.

The sale price was disclosed Wednesday in Tribune Publishing’s quarterly financial report. The deal also included a revised printing contract, the details of which are still undetermined.

Tribune and Wrapports LLC also renegotiated a distribution deal for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wrapports, through a spokesman, declined to discuss the sale price Wednesday.

Tribune Publishing, created in August in a spinoff of Tribune Co.’s newspapers, reported a net loss of $156,000, or 1 cent a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 29. The company had earnings of $18.3 million, or 72 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue decreased about 4 percent to $404 million in the recent quarter from $424 million last year. The company reported operating income fell to $4.5 million compared with $26.9 million last year.

The company, whose newspapers include the Chicago Tribune, said it earned 33 cents a share after adjustments, compared with $1.12 a year earlier.

“We have made significant strides, especially in digital. Although we are in the early stages of our transformation, we are focused on establishing our 2015 plans for growth and margin enhancements,” chief executive officer Jack Griffin said in statement.

Chief financial officer John Bode said the advertising sales were soft in the quarter, particularly national advertising. He said the company will seek additional acquisitions and commercial print customers.

Tribune Publishing declared cash dividend of 17.5 cents per share payable Dec. 10.

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